National Hispanic Medical Association Calls For ‘Binational’ Health Care To End Inequalities
The U.S. government must work to end inequalities in health care for Hispanics and "other culturally and ethnically diverse" populations, the National Hispanic Medical Association said Saturday at a two-day conference on health disparities, the Houston Chronicle reports. The summit, the first "comprehensive look" at Hispanic health in 10 years, called for a "binational approach" to health care and urged the federal government and corporations to provide "low-cost, affordable insurance for poor, working families." The NHMA, which will give a written report of its recommendations to Congress this fall, encouraged the government to take action on several issues, including providing health education career information in Hispanic-majority schools, promoting cultural sensitivity in health education and devoting more attention to chronic diseases (Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, 8/17).
New Surgeon General Richard Carmona, stating that Hispanic access to health care is one of his "top priorities," said in a speech that the country must "close the gap" of unequal health care, the Dallas Morning News reports. "Hispanic demographics tell the tale of serious health challenges," Carmona said, noting that it will "take a little time" to resolve some health disparities (McLemore, Dallas Morning News, 8/17). According to recent studies, 37 of 43 border counties in Texas are "medically underserved" and have high rates of infant mortality, low rates of primary care doctors and a high percentage of elderly residents. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas), chair of the health task force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said, "Every day Hispanics encounter critical issues such as insufficient access to health care, including immunizations, and a shortage of Hispanics in health professions. We need to tackle those kind of issues so every American can be a healthier American" (Ackerman, Houston Chronicle, 8/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.